One of the biggest considerations when it comes to budget travel is where to vacation. Some vacation destinations are much less costly than others, so travelers on a budget need to choose their vacation spots carefully.
One of the most exciting, and least expensive, travel destinations for the budget traveler is the countries of Central and South America.
Going where your dollars go farther is one of the cardinal rules of budget travel, and U.S. dollars are highly sought after, and incredibly valuable, in a number of Latin American countries.
For instance, for the same budget, you could spend a week at one of those priciest Caribbean resorts, or several months in many fascinating parts of Central and South America.
Budget travel in Latin America has many advantages far beyond the monetary savings. For instance, some of the most amazing and unforgettable sights just happen to be located in some of the world's least expensive countries.
These easy to afford, hard to forget sights include the Incan wonders of Machu Picchu in Peru and the wonderful Mayan ruins scattered throughout some of the least costly parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
A budget Latin American vacation can include such exciting adventures as exploring an unspoiled rainforest, white water rafting down some of the world's most beautiful rivers, climbing active and extinct volcanoes, and diving off some of the world's most spectacular coral reefs.
The key to enjoying all this adventure while staying within your budget is to shun the standard tourist sights, and to take your time when traveling around. By doing this, not only will you save money, but you will make contact with real people, and make some wonderful memories.
While in Cancun you may meet only other tourists, in the wilds of Peru you will meet all kinds of people, from peasant coffee farmers to experienced mountain guides and white water raft guides.
Visiting an affordable country means you will enjoy wonderful meals, stay in unique and interesting places, and meet wonderful people you will never forget, all for far less than you would spend at home.
When visiting Latin America, it is important to take your time, not simply because there is so much to see, but also because the pace of life there is slower and more relaxed.
And after all, relaxation is what a vacation should be all about. And the best thing is, your vacation budget can last for many months in this most affordable of destinations.
Taking it slow will allow you to spend time with and get acquainted with some of the most fascinating people you will ever meet.
Getting the perspective of the local population and learning from their varied experience, is one of the best parts of travel, no matter what your budget.
Travel provides a perspective and a view of your place in the world that nothing else can, and that is what makes it so uniquely valuable and exciting.
Traveling throughout Central and South America is also a great way to boost the local economies, and help the lives of the wonderful people who live there.
Spending time in a small village, living with a local family in a small guest house, may well pay that family's bills for weeks, help send their children to school, and help them enjoy a brighter future.
Instead of spending your money in a large tourist resort, try stepping off the beaten path for a couple of weeks or months.
Not only will you save significant sums of money, but you will help people who need the money. The beauty of budget travel in Latin America is that your money goes directly to the people who need it, instead of being filtered through resort owners, tour operators and hotel managers.